Hudson Valley Seed is built on our awareness of humankind’s impact on the earth and the importance of our efforts to preserve and protect it for future generations. We model sustainable, organic farming practices (detailed here) that serve as a healthy alternative to the ways that typical agriculture damages our natural environment and our bodies. In teaching our students to care for the plants and bugs around them, we teach them to nurture and steward their natural surroundings, and cultivate a sustainable, holistic worldview.
Diversity: We celebrate the diversities of race, culture, ethnicity, religion, ability, class, and so many other ways of being uniquely human that exist in the Hudson Valley and in our classrooms. As such, we stand in solidarity with the members of our communities experiencing oppression.
Oppressions: In their daily lives, our students face the full range of oppressions prevalent in this country, from racial discrimination to malnutrition. Our mission is particularly relevant to ways that poverty, food apartheid, academic struggle, and environmental injustice affect our communities.
Institutions: We will always work to shift institutions and systems towards more sustainable, community-engaged, healthy, and just practices and policies.
Empowered Students: We work together to empower our students so that they have the knowledge, social and emotional skills, perspective, and encouragement needed to understand and address challenges in their communities, starting with brave healthy eating and academic success.
Accountable: We are accountable first and foremost to our students as well as to the thousands of parents and families, teachers and school administrators, and partner organizations impacted by our programs, and the donors and volunteers who make our work possible. We are actively working to diversify our staff, board, and advisory committees so that they more fully represent the communities we serve.
Collaborative: We work with farms, nonprofits, governmental bureaus, local businesses, foundations, and many more partnering organizations to ground, coordinate, and implement our work, and are deeply committed to a highly collaborative, rather than competitive, model of effective community partnership.
Constantly Improving: We do this work in humility, acknowledging our imperfections and privileges. Our staff all regularly engage in professional and personal development, individually and as a team, to learn more deeply about issues of social justice, how they intersect with our work, and how we can shift our work to be more directly relevant to supporting our students’ and our communities’ needs. We always welcome feedback and suggestions from the community to improve and inform our work.
Fundraising: We aim to earn the support of people representative of the communities we serve, and we respectfully represent those we serve in how we talk about our work to funders. We do not allow funders, or the promise of funding, shift us from implementing our mission in the effective way we have established for ourselves. We do not promote the work of organizations which produce products, services, or activities antithetical to our mission, or from funders who request intrusive or exploitative reporting or other actions that would diminish our students’ experience in the program or contradict our organizational values. A list of our major business and foundation sponsors is here, and a full list of our supporters is in our most recent annual report.
Expenses: We are committed to keeping organizational expenses as low as possible. This is both to maximize the student impacts of each dollar donated and to avoid participating in a culture of excess. We think that fairly compensating staff for their work is important and strive to ensure that staff salaries and benefits are equitable with regional industry standards and are sustainable for living in our communities. We report our organizational expenses transparently and strive to make purchases with ecological and social consciousness-- including purchasing foods that are certified organic, local, Non-GMO, and/or Fair Trade certified, limiting the use of paper and buying recycled paper products, and generally limiting the use of material things - opting to do our work with the fewest physical resources necessary. We are exploring ways to improve our organizational impact on energy use, materials disposal, transportation, and contracted services.